Tag: Olympic

Legends but not rock stars

Last night at the official launch of National Science Week 2008 I was excited to speak to some fascinating people: Dr Luke Hunter, big cat conservationist; Shane Gould, Olympic swimming medallist and expert in new swimming techniques; and the likely lads of the Great Big Science Gig, comedy rock science cabaret artists. (Those boys rock, don’t miss ’em if you can make it to their show.)

But perhaps the two most exciting people I talked to were Simon Pampena, of The Angry Mathematician and the Maths Olympics fame, and Rob Morrison, one of the two presenters of Australia’s best-loved science show, The Curiosity Show. Here’s a photo of the three of us:


Rob has so many fascinating things to say that I hope I can bring you the full interview, but a couple of his ideas really struck home with me. He believes that we don’t have to get children interested in science; rather all children are interested in science, but are turned off it by bad teaching, a lack of exposure, or peer pressure. He pointed to popular media as the prime example: every newspaper has a devoted Sports section, a devoted Arts section, and is full of news on politics; a person’s interests in such things are constantly reinforced, and on television too. But someone interested in science is lucky if their newspaper has a devoted science journalist, let alone a separate science section. Even if there is – and most are weekly, if they exist at all – it’s generally lumped in with and dominated by Technology, which is not the same thing at all. So his role was to be some guy on television saying “hey, it’s cool to be into science, I’m into it too”. Read more